The “economic boycott” above referred to differs absolutely in its aim and character from the proposal to impose a permanent and continuous boycott on German commerce to maintain and extend British or other trade at the expense of Germany. Phrases are sometimes used here which seem to be almost a repetition of those so dear to the Pan-German party. “Destroy British commerce that German may replace it,” is echoed back as “Destroy German commerce that British may replace it.” The whole idea that the progress and extension of the trade and industry of one country is an injury to another is radically false. A spirit of jealousy, regarding the prosperity of others as involving injury to ourselves, is a curse to the individual, to the class, or to the nation which is imbued with it.
To put these questions on the highest moral basis—on a true religious basis, if you will—is not cant, but only a recognition of the real facts. The world will without doubt everlastingly perish unless this true faith is maintained and acted upon. Self-interest and self-aggrandisement as dominant motives inevitably lead to destruction, hastened by every advance in the knowledge and in the efficiency of those who take them as their guides.
[Footnote 3: These words were written before July 9th, and perhaps now require some modification.]
LEAGUE OF NATIONS—ITS SCOPE AND AIM
Just so while it is highly important to have controversies between nations settled by arbitration rather than by war, and the growth of sentiment in favour of that peaceable method of settlement is one of the great advances in civilisation of this generation; yet the true basis of peace among men is to be found in a just and considerate spirit among the people who rule our modern democracies, in their regard for the rights of other countries and in their desire to be fair and kindly in the treatment of the subjects which give rise to international controversies. The basis of peace and order is “the self-restraint of the thousands of people who make up the community, and their willingness to obey the law and regard the rights of others.”—ELIHU ROOT.
No League of Peace, however, can be sufficient guarantee against a power which is highly organised, vigorous and united, if it desires war. Either such a power must be so defeated and so weakened as to be unable to renew hostilities, or its character so altered as to make it give up the desire for aggression and domination. As Mr. Gerard points out, “It is only by an evolution of Germany herself towards Liberalism that the world will be given such guarantees of future peace as will justify the termination of this War. Liberalism in this sense does not mean violent revolution, but does mean a spirit opposed to that which animates the present Government of Germany,